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Are you a pyro-gourmaniac? No, that doesn’t mean you like to start fires in the kitchen or that you like your food flambéed. Pyro-gourmaniacs are people who love spicy food and on August 19th, they get to celebrate because it’s National Hot & Spicy Food Day!

People have been cooking with hot spices for over 6000 years. Cuisines throughout the world have multitudes of different spices that can result in some really flavorful dishes. While hot foods may be filled with chilis, peppers, and hot sauce, spicy food doesn’t necessarily have to be hot. It can just be warm and packed with flavor. If you’ve been wanting to try cooking with spice, check out these 6 Tips for Cooking Spicy Foods the Right Way.

Spicy food is healthy too! Capsaicin, the main compound in chiles, has been shown to fight inflammation, kill cancer cells boost metabolism and help us burn more calories. People who eat spicy foods have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. Turmeric may slow the growth of tumors. Find out Unique and Delicious Ways to Use Turmeric More Often. Spicy foods can increase blood flow and boost production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin, reducing depression and stress. Learn more in How to Use These Spices in Your Cooking for Better Health and How Herbs and Spices Can Transform Your Health.

Not sure which spices to use for recipes? Check out The Ultimate Spice Guide to Vegan Cooking and this Guide to Matching Herbs and Spices with Vegetables. Not sure you want to go full-on hot and spicy? Try the new food trend: How to Combine Sweet and Spicy Flavors in Your Recipes. Get Tips for Making DIY Hot Sauce From Scratch and learn how to make The Greatest Homemade Hot Sauce. Ready to set your taste buds on fire? Try these 14 Amazing Dishes Made with Buffalo Sauce and these 20 Recipes Made for Hot and Spicy Day. Then dive in to these 21 recipes that are hot, spicy and delicious!

1. Spicy Cauliflower Chickpea Burger

Spicy Cauliflower Chickpea Burger [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

This Spicy Cauliflower Chickpea Burger will leave you wondering why meat was ever an option. Smothered with Buffalo sauce, filled with veggies, and piled with amazing toppings, you’ll have to open wide for this one.

2. Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

There’s nothing like a spicy salad bowl. This Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad has brown rice, black beans, peppers, corn, lettuce, salsa and guacamole. This is better than anything you can get at a fast food joint.

3. Sriracha Tempeh Sliders With Ranch Dressing

Sriracha Tempeh Sliders With Vegan Ranch Dressing [Vegan]

Tempeh makes the best little sliders. These Sriracha Tempeh Sliders are spicy, delicious and perfect for lunch, dinner or parties. Cool them down with the homemade veggie ranch dressing.

4. Jalapeño and Blueberry Cornbread

Jalapeno and Blueberry Cornbread [Vegan]

Did you know there are varying degrees of cornbread awesomeness? Plain cornbread is ok. Cornbread made in a cast iron with crunchy edges…even better. But this Jalapeno and Blueberry Cornbread, on an awesome scale of 1 to 10, is an eleven.

5. Spicy Raw Thai Salad

Spicy Raw Thai Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

This Spicy Raw Thai Salad has so many delicious, crunchy veggies. In addition to Asian flavors, the dressing is extra spicy! Make it as written or make it your own but make it!

6. Chili Lime Lentil Tacos With Spicy Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Chili Lime Lentil Tacos With Spicy Grilled Pineapple Salsa [Vegan]

Everyone loves tacos and these Chili Lime Lentil Tacos will set your heart on fire. The lentils are seasoned with hot and smokey spices and topped with a spicy grilled pineapple salsa with red onion and jalapeno.

7. Spicy Buffalo Quinoa Burgers

Spicy Buffalo Quinoa Burgers [Vegan]

Burgers and Buffalo sauce go together like…well, like hot and spicy. These Spicy Buffalo Quinoa Burgers are hearty, spicy and satisfying. It’s a fiery match made in heaven.

8. Spicy Sausage Sandwich Patties

Spicy Sausage Sandwich Patties [Vegan]

You’ll love making these Spicy Sausage Sandwich Patties because it’s easy and so delicious. Packed with chili powder, paprika and other spices, you’ll be eating these for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

9. Buffalo Cauliflower Dip

Buffalo Cauliflower Dip [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

You know what’s awesome? Dipping veggies (or crackers…or your fingers) in a spicy, Buffalo Cauliflower Dip with a creamy blue cheese dressing layer. Even more awesome is that same dip made with whole, plant-based ingredients. Now you can let your celery (or again, your fingers) swim in some tangy, rich decadence – sans guilt.

10. Avocado Jalapeño Poppers


One thing we can all agree on is really good food, and these Avocado Jalapeno Poppers are so scrumptious and addictive you might have trouble stopping. The creamy avocado, the crunchy fried won ton wrapper, and the kick from the jalapeno are to die for.

11. Black Pepper Burgers

Black Pepper Burgers [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

These Black Pepper Burgers aren’t just yet another veggie burger. These burgers are absolutely amazing and pack a real punch! Made out of lentils, chickpeas and carrot, they are topped off with a fiery black pepper sauce and a spicy Dijon mayonnaise.

12. Almost Oil-Free Jalapeño Cornbread

Oil-Free Jalapeño Cornbread [Vegan]

This Jalapeno Cornbread is a true southern-style cornbread, without the Texas-size amount of oil and fat. You don’t need all of the excess oil to make this cornbread moist and delicious!

13. Forbidden Rice and Mango Salad

Forbidden Rice and Mango Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

This Forbidden Rice and Mango Salad has black rice folded in with fresh mango chunks and refreshing cucumbers, beautiful red bell peppers to add color, and spicy jalapeno peppers. It will leave you feeling energetic, refreshed, and delighted.

14. Spicy Potato Casserole With Tofu ‘Chorizo’

Spicy Potato Casserole With Tofu 'Chorizo' [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

If you like baked potatoes topped with chili, you’ll love this Spicy Potato Casserole. It has layers of thinly sliced potatoes doused in a spicy tomato-based sauce with black beans and a spicy tofu “chorizo” to add flavor and texture.

15. Spicy Andouille Sausage

Spicy Vegan Andouille Sausage [Vegan]

The backbone of many Cajun dishes is andouille, a smoked sausage seasoned with cayenne and other Louisiana spices. This vegan Spicy Andouille Sausage is flavor packed and toothsome, with just the right amount of heat.

16. Vegan Sriracha and Lime Cheeseball

Vegan Sriracha and Lime Cheeseball [Gluten-Free]

This Vegan Sriracha and Lime Cheeseball is delicious and super easy to make. Sriracha and lime are a perfect combination. The spicy kick from the hot sauce and mellow flavor of the lime combine to make a perfect cheesy snack or spread.

17. Spicy Kale Chips

Spicy Kale Chips [Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free]

Kale chips are the best snack ever and these Spicy Kale Chips are the proof. Made raw and touched with a kiss of cayenne, these kale chips are hot and delicious.

18. Kale Salad With Chili Lime Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Sriracha Vinaigrette

Kale Salad With Chili Lime Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Sriracha Vinaigrette [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

This Kale Salad is colorful and has spices running all through it. The butternut squash is roasted with chili lime seasoning and is accompanied by fluffy quinoa and caramelized onions. It’s all topped with a garlic sriracha vinaigrette and pretty pomegranate seeds.

19. Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Baked Jalapeño Popper [Vegan]

That’s right — no dredging, no breading, no frying. Just beautiful Baked Jalapeno Poppers stuffed with a flavor-packed mixture of vegan cheeses, scallions, and spices. They taste better than the fried version because you can really taste the jalapeno. These taste fresh, they actually taste healthy …well, healthier.

20. Mexican Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Mexican Chocolate Brownie Cookies [Vegan]

These Mexican Chocolate Brownie Cookies are just right for satisfying that brownie/cookie craving. Baked with warm spices and just a hint of cayenne, these slightly spicy cookies are amazing.

21. Malibu Rum Cupcakes With Pineapple and Jalapeño Filling

Malibu Rum Cupcakes With Pineapple and Jalapeño Filling [Vegan]

These Malibu Rum Cupcakes are a beautiful creation. The combination of pineapple and jalapeno may sound weird but once you try it, you’ll be a believer. The jalapeno brings out a more complex flavor than pineapple alone. You have this rich, dynamic filling in a light, fluffy cupcake – it’s just perfection.

Whew! It’s pretty hot and spicy in here and that’s a beautiful thing. Celebrate National Hot & Spicy Day by turning up the heat with these fiery recipes.

Lead image source: Chili Lime Lentil Tacos With Spicy Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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